Covid-19 research funding—Rethinking medical research

I have linked this up here because it forces a fundamental “re-think” of how regulatory authorities fund medical interventions. A vaccine intervention is years away, but it has altered the perceptional change for a good reason.

Can they transfer these lessons to other aspects of chronic care? That remains the moot point, and I am inclined to believe that it would also focus a fresh look on the cancer research. Under its moniker- we have seen a massive duplication of “research efforts”- partly because the payouts (pharma exclusivity) are huge.

This resulted in a DHSC/UKRI rolling call, which ran until the end of June, and specified impact on an even more aggressive time-frame: 12 months. The target interval from submission to decision was 10-15 days.

The strain placed on our secretariat, many of whom have been working from home while managing caring responsibilities and keeping on top of their other NIHR and MRC duties, was considerable.

We also began to see some fatigue and dissatisfaction amongst our expert reviewers—it is hard to make informed decisions about a completely new disease as the available data emerges, and is sometimes contradicted, daily.

Fiona M. Watt: Covid-19—a new disease has forced a re-think of how we fund medical research – The BMJ

Basic research- radiobiology- requires the same model. Cancer represents a shifting target. It is laudable that they have unravelled understanding in a significant detail. However; it has not translated into meaningful gains (in terms of overall survival).